BE SENSITIVE

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Aug 2017 11:28:38


MADHYA Pradesh Government’s action of removing Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Ms. Medha Patkar to hospital as her condition deteriorated after 12 days of fast has yet again brought into focus the long-pending issue of rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar project-affected people. Ms. Patkar had taken up the issue earlier also.

She had to take up the cudgels again as the people affected by increasing the dam height in Gujarat felt cheated by the Government and were not ready to vacate their land. Those who face displacement have alleged that in exchange of fertile land they have been asked to vacate, the Government is offering them the land which is bereft of facilities and unfit for people and the livestock to survive. Hence, the opposition to leave the land.

Whenever big projects are undertaken similar problems about rehabilitation of people comes to the fore. The Government should be sensitive to the problems of the people sacrificing their land. It must ensure that the oustees get adequate compensation and all the required facilities.

PRAGMATIC STAND

BOTH, the Maharashtra Government and the Bombay High Court deserve kudos for resolving the issue of ‘Dahi Handi’ by taking a pragmatic view of one of the most popular sporting events in the country.

In 2014, the High Court had banned boys below 18 years of age from participating and limited the height of human pyramids to 20 feet for safety of participants. Following a hue and cry over it, the State Government challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, which referred the matter back to the High Court. Meanwhile, ‘Dahi Handis’ were performed observing safety norms listed by the court, which led to less Govindas suffering injuries.

The Maharashtra Government laid down fresh rules and barred boys below 14 years of age from participating in ‘Dahi Handi’. This restriction has been accepted by the court, which also declined to limit the height of human pyramids. Thus, Govindas can now have all the fun of the ‘adventure sport’. It’s good that the spirit of the ancient sporting event has been kept alive by the court.